Cream Treatment for Skin Cancer on Face
Cream Treatment for Skin Cancer on Face A common treatment of basal cell carcinoma, the world’s most common type of skin cancer, is a topical (skin only applied) cream, such as Efudex (fluorouracil). If your doctor is prescribed Efudex, this introduction will arm you with the information you need to use it effectively and safely.Note that this information may not cover all possible precautions, interactions or side effects for this treatment. If you have any questions about the medication you are taking, you should check with your doctor.
Efudex (other brand names are Carac and Fluoroplex) is a topical cream used to treat superficial basal cell carcinoma when conventional methods are impractical, such as multiple lesions or difficult facial treatment sites Or in the scalp. It is also used to treat actinic keratosis (also called solar keratosis), which in the event of untreated inequality can lead to more serious invasive squamous cell carcinoma.
Efudex is a chemotherapy treatment (an “antimetabolite”) that prevents the formation of DNA and RNA required for cell division and growth. This inhibition leads to the death of fast-growing cancer cells that absorb more fluorouracil from healthy cells. Fluorouracil is also used in its more powerful injectable form to treat cancers of the breast, stomach, intestine, and esophagus.
The success rate in treating basal cell carcinoma with fluorouracil is about 93 percent, based on a study of 113 lesions in 54 patients. However, isolated, easily accessible basal cell carcinomas should be treated surgically, as success in such lesions is almost 100 percent. Unlike surgery, Efudex is not likely to leave scars or permanently stain patches of skin.
Other studies are now investigating how effectively Efudex cream affects non-facial regions of the body and how fluorouracil is compared to Imiquimod (Aldara) cream and cryosurgery. In a German study of patients with actinic keratosis, for example, imiquimod treatment led to better clarification of lesions and better cosmetic outcomes compared to cryosurgery and fluorouracil.
For basal cell carcinomas, it is recommended to apply 5 percent fluorouracil cream twice a day in a quantity sufficient to cover the lesions for at least 3 to 6 weeks. However, therapy may be required up to 10 to 12 weeks before the lesions disappear. To apply for this treatment, use a cotton tote applicator, or use gloves if you apply it with your fingertips. If you are applied with unprotected fingertips, it is important to wash your hands well after applying for this medication. Avoid applying to the eyes, nose or mouth.
As a rule, the treated areas can be unsightly during therapy, and usually for several weeks after stopping therapy. The effect of fluorouracil occurs in four phases:
- Early inflammatory phase: In the first week of use, there is a slight inflammation.
- Inflammatory phase: In the following weeks, redness and swelling occur in crusts and burning.
- Tumor decay phase: The lesions dissolve as the skin spits out.
- Healing phase: New skin grows into the treatment area for more than 1 to 2 weeks.
Specific side effects that generally do not require medical attention (contact your doctor or health care professional if they continue to run or are disruptive):
- Red or dark skin
- Erosion (loss of the upper layer of the skin)
- Eye irritation including burning, itching, sensitivity, stinging or casting
- Increased sensitivity of the skin to sun and UV light
- Pain and burns of the affected area
- Dryness, scaling or swelling of the affected area
- Rash, itching of the affected area
More serious side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible include:
- Abdominal pain
- Bloody diarrhea
Caution and interaction
The Efudex cream should not be used by women who are pregnant, considering getting pregnant, or grooming as it can damage the fetus. It should also not be used if you have a dihydropyridine-dehydration (DPD) enzyme deficiency as serious side effects can result. DPD is a hereditary condition that occurs in 3 to 5 percent of the population and requires a special genetic test for diagnosis. Also tell your doctor if you:
- Radiotherapy underwent
- Have previously had an unusual or allergic reaction to fluorouracil, other chemotherapy, other medications, foods, dyes or preservatives
Cream Treatment for Skin Cancer on Face
Avoid sunlight as much as possible while using Efudex as it can increase your side effects. If exposed to sunlight, wear a hat and use sunscreen. As always, avoid tanning booths that are clearly associated with squamous cell carcinoma and melanomas.